Addressing millions of people gathered at Tehran’s iconic Azadi (Freedom) Square to commemorate the 37th victory anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani congratulated the great nation of Iran, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, and all freedom-seekers of the world on the “decisive day”, and delivered his speech on three key points.
He first explained the conceptual definition of “Independence, Freedom, Islamic Republic”, which was the cause behind the Islamic Revolution; then he elaborated on his administration’s achievements in spite of cruel anti-Iran sanctions; and finally, he underlined the significance of people’s high turnout in the upcoming elections for the Iranian parliament and Assembly of Experts due to be held on February 26.
He wrapped up his speech by appreciating the foreign guests attending the ceremony.
Iran Front Page (IFP) has selected and translated parts of President Rouhani’s speech using a report by the Islamic Republic News Agency.
Goal of Islamic Revolution: Rejecting Domestic Dictatorship, Foreign Colonialism and Hegemony
Thirty seven years ago on this day, the rise of Iranian people to take control of their country’s fate bore fruit, Rouhani said.
“People had been living under the rule of hegemony for hundreds of years, and a dictator was ruling the country,” he went on to say.
He said during their numerous uprisings and movements including the Iranian Constitutional Revolution (1905-1907), and despite great victories and successes, people in Iran failed to topple dictatorship in the country.
It was tens of years that foreign powers, US in particular, were dominant over the destiny of Iranian people, he said, adding that the nation could not tolerate dictatorship, colonialism, and foreign hegemony anymore, and sought to realize the causes of Independence, Freedom, and Islamic Republic of Iran.
Revolution’s Motto: Independence, Freedom, and Islamic Republic
“Using these three mottos, people managed to gain their independence, end the foreign hegemony, and achieve freedom and liberty. They finally established the ruling system they wanted based on people’s majority vote within the framework of Islam and religious values,” Rouhani noted.
“Only 47 days after the victory of Revolution, Imam [Ruhollah Khomeini] called on the Iranian nation to go to the polls,” he added.
Key to Revolution’s Victory: Combination of Republicanism and Islamism
Rouhani stressed that the mobilization and uprising of the entire nation was not possible unless the social movement had its roots in the heart of religion and was led by a senior Grand Ayatollah in whom people trusted.
If Islam was not introduced as a religion that cares about the youth and is compatible with science and knowledge, and if religion and culture were not combined with the Iranian nation’s majority vote, a ruling system that was relied upon by the people and respected by the world could not be established in late 20th century, President Rouhani asserted.
The Iranian president went on to say that the combination the late Imam explained was the combination of Republicanism and Islamism.
“Islamic Republic of Iran, not even a single word less or more than that” was what Imam Khomeini told us. We could not witness such a great evolution in our society if that was not the case, Rouhani added.
Approach of Iran’s Revolution: Ethics, Peacefulness, and Avoiding Violence
He referred to Iran’s Revolution as an ethical and peaceful revolution without violence or misbehavior.
We all know that the Islamic Revolution is not just a political one, though it is closely associated with the politics, Rouhani noted.
The important issue, however, is ethics, which has always preceded politics, he stressed.
Imam Khomeini skillfully managed to keep the revolution away from hatred and revenge through Islamic ethics; otherwise the country would be gripped with civil war for years. It was the people who, under the guidance of Imam Khomeini, put flowers on gun-barrels, and demonstrated the great attraction of revolution that can absorb everyone to the path of right and justice, Iran’s president said.
Islam is the messenger of justice, moderation, kindness, and brotherhood for everyone. Of course many people have been martyred in the path of this revolution since 1979 with the aim of stabilizing the Revolution and, later on, fighting against the aggression of foreigners during the 8-year imposed war against Iraq, he added.
He further touched upon the current political situation within the country ahead of upcoming elections, saying the real conservatives, reformists, and moderates are all revolutionaries.
“We should update the language of revolution,” Rouhani urged.
No One Should Turn One’s Back to Ballot Boxes
“The upcoming elections are an instance of national dialogue,” he noted, adding that Iran’s Revolution crystalizes in ballot boxes.
“The late Imam invited us 47 days after the Revolution’s victory (February 11, 1979), and we went to polls to vote for the Islamic Republic of Iran. Our resistance and might hinges on our participation,” he stressed.
“No one should turn his or her back to the ballot boxes. All the people should rush to vote. As per the invitation of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, even if someone is critical of the Establishment and the ruling system, he or she should not boycott the ballot box,” Rouhani stressed.
He further noted that this is people’s rights, and everyone should respect the box. “Our social capital is on these ballot boxes,” he added.
1979 Revolution Belongs to All Muslim and Non-Muslim Iranians
“We managed to resist all the problems throughout the past 38 years because we returned to our Iranian and Islamic origins; because the late Imam defined the real dignity for us,” Rouhani said.
“Our revolution managed to go through all the problems thanks to unity and integrity,” President Rouhani added.
“Islam is a shelter for all Iranians and those living in this country. Even if someone is not a Muslim, he or she would feel Islam is his/her shelter. Today, the responsibility of all of us is to defend this glorious revolution and its causes in the best way possible,” he said.
“Our revolution valued men and women, young and old, especially the dear youth. The late Imam determined the path for us,” he went on to say.
Iran’s Revolution, a Return to Real Dignity, Ethics, and Civility
Rouhani further defined the Revolution and its concept as follows:
The Revolution is based on freedom, people’s votes and basic rights, ethics, Islam, and respect for law. The Revolution is for all the people, it does not belong to any particular party. The Revolution belongs to the Iranian nation.
The Revolution is defined within the framework of Iran, Islam, ethics, and national unity. This precious heritage of Revolution does not belong to any particular side, but belongs to the great nation of Iran and all freedom-seekers in the world. Iran’s Revolution was a return to ethics and civility. It is a revolution that should be studied again and again.
Iranians Are Logical and Peaceful People, Not Threats to Global Security
Rouhani described Iranian people as “peace-seekers” who try to establish stability and security throughout the region and the world.
He went on to say that his administration has managed to defeat the Iranophobia project and let the world know that Iranian people are logical and want to have peaceful co-existence with other friendly countries in the region.
All the claims that introduced Iran as a threat to global peace and security were proved to be wrong and baseless, the Iranian president added.
Iran: Land of Stability and Security
“Today is the day when the era of progress combined with national dignity should begin,” Rouhani said.
“The Iranian government is not one that can be isolated, and the Iranian nation is not one whose will and decision can be put aside from the social and global scene,” Rouhani asserted.
He further noted that the world’s superpowers have known after 37 years that the Iranian government is not an interim one.
“Today, the entire world, including all superpowers, is somehow confessing the mistakes it has made in the past 37 years. The entire world and all countries are now willing to have good relations and interaction with the great nation of Iran,” he noted.
Iran’s Nation: Patriotic and Unyielding
Near four decades after the victory of Islamic Revolution, those countries that were for a long time used to talk to the people of so-called Third World countries, even to the Iranian nation, using the language of force, have now felt and understood that the great nation of Iran does not yield to any pressure and will not give in to any threat, Rouhani stressed.
He further noted that the patriotic people of Iran, through their eight-year defense against the foreign aggression, showed to the world that they will strongly counter any aggression.
“It was our great people who did not give in to unprecedented international sanctions during the past decade,” he added.
Iran: Strong in Military Defense, Capable in Diplomacy and Dialogue
“Not only can this great nation resist to world powers in the battlefield of defense and make them defeated and humiliated, but also in the field of diplomacy, logic, and argument, it has the upper hand against the entire world, and can claim its national rights,” Rouhani said.
He further pointed out that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors, the United Nations, and more importantly, the world’s public opinion have all accepted that the anti-Iran propaganda by Zionists and the US global hegemony is sheer lie and has nothing to do with reality.
“The Iranian people are a peace-seeking nation,” he reiterated.
Iran: Progress despite Sanctions
“In the field of energy, within these two and a half years (since Rouhani took the office in 2013), we managed to increase the sweet gas production by 190 million cubic meters per day for the consumption of people and industries,” the Iranian president announced, adding that seven phases of the giant gas field South Pars were completed during this time.
He further referred to the amount of Iran’s extraction of joint oil fields, which previously amounted to 69,000 barrels, but it has been increased to 110,000 barrels since he has taken the office.
This amount will be increased to 230,000 barrels by late March and to 350,000 barrels by the end of the administration’s four-year term (July 2017), Rouhani predicted.
In petrochemical industry, the country’s income was $16 billion in 2011, but it has amounted to $18 billion this year, and will hit $24 billion by July 2017, President Rouhani noted.
“This means our country has been able to progress even under difficult conditions,” he stressed.
In power generation, Iran has become the region’s top country in the past 2.5 years, Rouhani said, explaining that 5000 MW has been added to the country’s power production within this time, increasing to 74,000 MW.
Rouhani further noted that 900,000 cubic meters of water have been added to the country’s dam reserves, and farms have been equipped with modern irrigation technologies within the 2.5-year period of time.
“We equipped 270,000 hectares of farms with modern irrigation (systems), which equals to 20% of what has been carried out since the 1979 Revolution,” he noted.
During the past 2.5 years, the administration has managed to save $3 billion in the import of food and agricultural products, Rouhani asserted.
“We also succeeded in putting 11 millions of people under the coverage of Public Health Insurance,” he added.
“In different fields, we can reach a point where we only rely upon ourselves,” he said.
Iran to Achieve Economic Growth of 8%
“The intelligence and capabilities of this nation, the education of the youth, the country’s material and natural facilities all can well help the country get to the peaks of progress and honor in material and spiritual life,” Rouhani stressed.
He went on to say that based on an order by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution within the country’s Sixth Development Plan, Iran’s economic growth should be increased to 8%.
“If we want to achieve such a growth, all domestic capitals should be mobilized in this regard,” Rouhani said, adding that the country will need 30 to 50 billion dollars of foreign investments each year.
“This is possible, and the reason is the developments we have witnessed within the past 2-3 years in our country, even though the sanctions had remained in place,” he added.
February 26 Elections: People’s Vote to Say Final Word
“We are on the verge of decisive elections; we will hold two big elections on February 26, for both of which this great nation will go to the polls,” Rouhani noted.
“If someone has any complaint, if a citizen or a political movement has been faced with adversity, they should all go to the ballot box actively,” he urged.
“We should know today that your vote says the final word. Either in Iran, in the region, or in the world, our citizens’ votes including those of males and females, young or old, boy or girl, from all ethnicities, will be beneficial both to us and to the region and the world,” Rouhani stressed.
Vote for Hope, Rationality, Rule of Law in Upcoming Elections
“Your vote in February 26 elections will be for hope, rationality, (rule of) law, and defense of the nation’s rights. The vote of the great Iranian nation will be casted for construction of our dear country based on dialogue and trust,” he said.
Rouhani went on to say that “our vote will not be casted for those who want to turn their back to law, neither will it be for those who are into scuffles and extremism.”
“Our vote will be casted for hope, a developed and free Iran. We will develop the country… We will boost the nation’s national might to a desirable point through coordination, unity, and solidarity,” he noted.
National JCPOA Needed for National Reconciliation
“Today, anyone who tries to expel a danger that threatens the country is a revolutionary; anyone who takes a single step today for the country’s progress is a revolutionary; anyone who tries to increase the country’s national unity is a revolutionary,” Rouhani said.
He went on to say that today, a national Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA – the name given to a recent nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers) is needed for national unity, reconciliation, and national action with revolutionary resolve under the guidance of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.